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Banning music lessons anti-islamic or anti-fun?

Alicia Trujillo Alicia Trujillo | 11:11 UK time, Friday, 2 July 2010


"Some of the parents don't want children to play musical instruments and they don't have music in their homes. For goodwill I allow that parent to withdraw their child from all music but I am in fact denying the child the opportunity that the other children in the class have"

Is what Eileen Ross the headteacher of the Herbert Morrison Primary School in south London told the BBC .

Many of you have been reacting to this story: On twitter timfoxon says

Many Muslim children are being deprived of school music lessons by their parents.

Mark Wuntoo a blogger comments

If it's true, this is stupid. I believe that a minority of Muslims think music is evil, per se, but not all. In my option music is important in its own right but it also helps to cement community. And why put the extra pressure on teachers who have to provide cover?

This blogger disagrees and says it's irresponsible reporting and it just feeds an Islamophobia that depicts Muslims as an alien presence in British society.

Josh Reiter on this site remembers how it was at his school:

Back when I was in elementary school there was a muslim kid in my class who always sat out in the hall during music class because, "it was against his religion to sing". Then, he complained because sitting out in the hall felt like he was being punished. Even back then I felt that it wasn't the teachers fault to put you out there. YOU were the one that opted out the class participation.

Inayat Bunglawala is the founder and chair of Muslims4UK comments on The Guardian site:

The majority of Islamic scholars, however, have taken a more nuanced view and have recognised that, as with most things, music can be utilised for good as well as bad ends. And just in case you aren't convinced by that, do have a listen, if you haven't already done so, to David Gilmour's guitar playing on Comfortably Numb at Earls Court back in 1994 and tell me with a straight face that your spirit wasn't transported to the very heavens.

So is it anti islamic to ban children taking part in music lessons or is it just a way of stopping children having fun?

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